Thixendale has had a long association with the Sykes Family and the Sledmere Estate, ranging from the late 18th century to 1941. The Sykes family were largely responsible for restoring prosperity to the Wolds through agricultural improvements.
This site documents the history of Thixendale during its ownership by the Estate.
In 1752, the land comprising the estate was inherited by Richard Sykes, High Sheriff of York and was either derelict land or sheep runs. The income from the land was poor.
When Sir Richard died in 1761, the Estate passed to his brother, Sir Mark Sykes, and it was his son, Christopher, who began the work of enclosing and cultivating the waste land.
Sir Christopher Sykes inherited the Estate in 1782.
On the death of Sir Christopher Sykes the property was inherited in September 1801 by his eldest son, Sir Mark Masterman Sykes. (6th Baronet)
Sir Mark Masterman Sykes was succeeded by his brother, Sir Tatton Sykes in 1823.
In 1823, Thixendale had a population of 184.
In 1837, the Wesleyan Methodists formed a chapel in the village.
In 1849, Lady Sykes supported the building of a small schoolhouse next to what is now Cottage Farm. This was subsequently divided between Ash Tree Farm and Cottage Farm after the new school was built in 1876.
The present Manor Farm was built in 1843.
Sir Tatton Sykes made major improvements to the village in the 1870s. The church of St. Mary the Virgin and its vicarage were built in 1870, under the renowned architect G.E. Street. Prior to this, villagers had to travel to the church at Wharram Percy. The vestry and boilerhouse were added in 1878 by Simpson and Mallory. The Rev. William Henry Fox was the first vicar from 1871 to 1911. He was succeeded by the Rev. Herbert Congreve Home from 1912 to 1921, and then by the blind Rev. Wilfred Armitage Schofield. On November 1st 1877, Sir Tatton Sykes provided a new organ for the church at a cost of £199. Further information on the church can be found here.
The parish of Thixendale was detached from Wharram Percy in 1872, along with Raisthorpe and Burdale.
A larger Public Elementary School and schoolhouse were built in 1876. This opened on March 26th 1876 and could hold 70 children. Again, the design was by G.E. Street. The builder was Drewery. The earliest known headmaster was a Mr. Williamson, who retired in January 1888 after teaching in Thixendale for nearly 40 years.
In 1891 the population of Thixendale was 234, and that of Raisthorpe was 78.
By 1892, the Thixendale township contained 3,811 acres, and had a rateable value of £2,400. There were 50 children on the school roll. At the same time, Raisthorpe township contained 2,112 acres and a rateable value £1,301.
In 1892, the post was collected from the village at 10:30am. The nearest money order office was Leavening, and the nearest telegraph office Wharram Station three miles away. People known to be in the village were:
Joseph Boyes, Carpenter
Enoch Braithwaite, Blacksmith and Grocer
E. Sykes, Schoolmaster
Mrs Elizabeth Towse, Cross Keys
Robert Byass, Greets (Gritts) Farm
Jno. Cook, Riggs Farm, via Huggate
Wm Henry Fairbank, Pluckham, via Huggate
John Creaker Fawcett, Broadholme Farm
George Galtrey, Gill’s Farm, via Huggate
Peter Grice, Fotherdale
William Hazlewood Sedman, Martinholme
Just before the end of the century, at Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, the four Diamond Cottages were built by the estate. Work started on these in 1897. These cottages were typical of those built by the estate for its workers in that period.
Ash Tree Farm in 1900:
The Beamer View Cottages cottages were built in the early part of the century.
Sir Tatton Sykes died on the May 4th, 1913
His only son Sir Tatton Mark Sykes, the 6th Baronet, died of influenza in Paris aged 39, while attending the 1919 peace conference. Subsequently of the estate, including farms and cottages in Thixendale, were put up for sale. A full copy of the 1919 sale catalogue can be seen on this site. The estate passed to his infant son Sir Mark Tatton Richard Sykes.
In 1941, further parts of the estate were put up for sale by Sir Richard Sykes. A copy of the 1941 sale catalogue can be seen on this site. This marked the end of the ownership of the village by Sledmere.